OBAMA & FDR: THEY REALLY ARE ALIKE!
By Dennis T. Avery
"The Congressional Budget Office says the 2010 Federal deficit will be in excess of $1.3 trillion, as in $1,000,000,000,000+ . . . initial unemployment claims jumped a half-million last week, the worst since last November, as national unemployment remains at 9.5% and the economy sheds 131,000 more jobs . . . But, before leaving for his ninth presidential vacation, 10 days at a secluded estate on Martha’s Vineyard, Obama devoted four minutes in the White House driveway to a special statement on the latest disappointing jobs numbers. According to the President, he’s been ‘adamant’ with Congress for months now about a new jobs bill to help small businesses.”
We’ve spent $787 billion on a stimulus program that didn’t stimulate. We’ve obligated at least $1 trillion to raise everyone’s future health care costs. The Democrats have just scraped up $26 billion to bail out public employee unions, no matter how lavish their contracts. The federal deficit may well double, to more than $20 trillion, by 2020.
And Obama’s “solution” is another pump-priming giveaway program for “small businesses”? I assume these “small businesses” will all be downtown in some urban Democratic stronghold selected by Nancy Pelosi.
The press has been fond of drawing parallels between Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Obama. I’ll draw some too:
First, both Roosevelt and Obama misrepresented themselves as they campaigned. Roosevelt said he favored cutting taxes, cutting government, and balancing the budget. Obama said he was a mild-mannered moderate who would change all those awful things done by George W. Bush.
Can we still remember the Bush errors that were worth a $20 trillion projected federal debt to correct?
Roosevelt, of course, lacked the current Democrats’ own Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae to poison the financial system with sub-prime mortgage instruments that carried the government’s implicit promise to pay for any losses. There’s another $400 billion or so in mortgage losses not yet “recognized” by the budgeters, and the total is mounting by the day.
Second, federal stimulus spending didn’t work for either President. Roosevelt took office in 1933 with unemployment at 24.9 percent, and it was still at 19 percent in 1938. Then World War II put everybody to work. Obama warned that, if we didn’t pass his stimulus, unemployment might get all the way up to 8 percent! Were both honestly misled on how to fix the problems? Or did both believe we should “never let a good crisis go to waste”?
Third, both recognized the power of the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt tried to “pack” the court with extra Justices he would have picked. How many Supremes will Obama get to appoint before he’s through, and how will that alter the country’s future?
Fourth, both Presidents were enthralled by government health care. Roosevelt never got it, but Obama has — unless it’s repealed fairly quickly. It’s ironic that Britain has chosen this moment to disband its long-standing “death panels” and turn its health decisions back to 50,000 general practitioners.
Fifth and finally, both Presidents will have ended their first terms dissatisfied. Roosevelt only got the top tax rate boosted from 25 to 79 percent, forestalling the creation of who knows how many thousands of jobs. Obama’s White House has reluctantly taken its projected $150 billion “clean energy” initiative off the books, unless a lame-duck session of Congress can ram through the energy taxes needed to support it.
How many more jobs would the energy taxes cost? Roosevelt would have been so jealous of the opportunity that the CO2 scare has provided to truly “transform” the American economy. But, then Roosevelt didn’t have the United Nations and the mainstream press to act as his propaganda staff.
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Dennis T. Avery is an environmental economist, and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He
was formerly a senior analyst for the U.S. Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable
Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years. Readers may write Avery at PO Box 202, Churchville, Virginia 24421 or
send email to him at email@example.com
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